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Andy Huntington, BERG | BIMA Breakfast Briefing - Making the most of the 'maker revolution'


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BIMA Breakfast Briefing | Making the most of the 'maker revolution.' Speakers slides.

If consumers are on their way to producing products quickly and cheaply from home thanks to new technologies, what does this mean for agencies and brands?

Andy Huntington (Interaction Designer & Hardware Producer at BERG) slides accompanied his talk with his approach to the topic – ‘The maker movement puts power in to the hands of the people.’

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Andy Huntington, BERG | BIMA Breakfast Briefing - Making the most of the 'maker revolution'

  1. 1. What to make of it BIMA breakfast briefing – Making the most of the Maker Revolution 22nd May 2014
  2. 2. This maker movement puts power in the hands of the people to fund design prototype produce manufacture distribute market and sell ! their own goods. Jeremiah Owyang Source: The changes we saw on the web in the 90s are being anticipated in hardware right now. But what’s the context? The web was it’s own material. The building of it changed how it was made. It was ‘new media’. It’s hard in some ways for me to talk about making, as it’s something I do professionally as a designer. And so the context I’m interested in is that of creating products.
  3. 3. photo Timo Arnall I started working with software through doing sound design for Romandson in 1999 and doing interactive pieces online and exhibitions throughout the early 2000s. I worked at Fabrica and then moved to the RCA in 2003 where I gained access to tools, people and met other designers. Starting in music, working through design and with software I find I sit across a number of disciplines. I have a strong emphasis on thinking through making, sketching in software and hardware. It’s brilliant that making is gaining more attention because it’s raising the profile of design & an awareness of design.
  4. 4. One thing I’ve said before is that it feels like we’re in the Geocities of Things at the moment. That’s not a derogatory statement, but it sums up that people are trying stuff and sharing it. Which is great - because that leads to some interesting results and new kinds of participation. The websites of that era had the seeds of the massive challenge to publishing, the music industry and retail that lay ahead. What made it particularly potent was access and sharing. How far can other models/industries be changed?
  5. 5. image Arduino SA One significant area where this has begun in electronics. This is almost the easiest place to appreciate because the as far as consumer electronics are concerned the production is automated, and computer controlled. Also it’s the closest to software. It was ripe for change. Arduino, grew out of a design school - quite different priorities to engineering.
  6. 6. How did it grow to millions of units sold? A very active community. It’s the by-word for physical computing. Genuine ease of access compared to the status quo for embedded electronics. The status quo for physical products is different and it’s not yet being challenged by …
  7. 7. image barspin 3d printing. I’m fascinated by the hype of 3d printing. It’s almost a philosophical point. eg. RepRap: machines printing more machines. But at the moment if feels a bit like a ukelele. It’s never been so easy to get hold of one. They can do a lot. But you’ll be playing a Ukelele. Which is fine, but don’t pretend you’re not.
  8. 8. Why 3d printing and not something else? Craft robo (Silhouette), it’s a cutter. Roland Milling machines. They’re not ‘additive’ so perhaps not so beguiling. But they’re still really useful.
  9. 9. image MakerBot Industries An early Thing-O-Matic. With the blue bunny. Low resolution, limited colours. And people make all sorts of stuff. It’s because this is a robot that makes stuff. It’s a ‘factory in a box’ and contrary to reality, we like to think that the factories that make the products we buy are all clean rooms with robots in them.
  10. 10. Brendan Dawes That’s not to say that you can’t do interesting things with 3d printers of that level. Brendan Dawes has been experimenting, and publishing his experiments. Curves/tests/failures. Material exploration. Finding the grain of the material.
  11. 11. image MakerBot Industries It’s just become a numbers game. How many colours? How fine a resolution? Lots of impossible parts being made. But there’s a perception people have with products which isn’t necessarily being met with 3d printing. Lots of issues: like what happens over time? They go yellow. What do they smell like? Can you paint them?
  12. 12. Cylinder (2002) with Drew Allan at Fabrica I’ve made a few things with 3d printing. Cylinder takes sound frequency info and makes it physical. We were aiming to print finished pieces, which didn’t require any further processing. Just get them out of the printer. What are these? These aren’t products. They’re exhibited as works of art. They can be fragile and expensive.
  13. 13. Datadecs (2009) with Russell Davies & Ben Terrett 3d printed only one part of the data decs. Laser cut the rest of them. The snowman was printed. Each one represented a twitter user’s data. The number of buttons was years on twitter, size of the head number of followers. Each one had their name in the base too. What are these? They’re decorations/gifts. They can be fragile and expensive.
  14. 14. Datadecs (2009) with Russell Davies & Ben Terrett All of these were generated by a script taking data directly from Twitter.
  15. 15. Datadecs (2009) with Russell Davies & Ben Terrett They were produced from a bath of plastic which is solidified with a laser. A messy process.
  16. 16. Datadecs (2009) with Russell Davies & Ben Terrett Still get lots of buildup and support material. It’s a pretty messy business - and it’s not that the ‘hobby’ machines are much worse - they might be lower resolution but the professional ones aren’t multipurpose or easy to use either! Printing overnight for 15 snowmen + time for cleaning, drying and finishing. Not very rapid - to an audience used to ordering something on the internet and it showing up the next day. If you wanted to scale up the production of customised snowman decorations you’d probably still find it easier to buy a box of spheres and make them by hand!
  17. 17. tapTap (2007) I’ve explored other small-run manufacture techniques too, like with tapTap.
  18. 18. tapTap (2007) Commission in 2007 from the Arts Council in London could take this further - more prototypes. Made 13 using semi-automated construction techniques. Computer controlled milling.
  19. 19. tapTap (2007) Still took a lot of hand work to build up.
  20. 20. tapTap (2007)
  21. 21. Little Printer, Berg (2010) And this is Little Printer by Berg. A consumer electronics product which you can buy. I coordinated the production, from desk prototypes to full supply chain. It is self funded, self sold, building on the web, not least as a product, but also as a process. It’s a world away from ‘printing a product’ but after all, making a physical product has never been easier!
  22. 22. Little Printer, Berg (2010) All begins with an Arduino & software prototype to test the premise & promise of the system. We did use 3d printing but for rapid prototyping - physical bug fixing. The 3d printed parts were brittle, yellow and smelled odd!
  23. 23. Little Printer, Berg (2010) We had 3d prints from China, all part of the development of the injection moulding (which has never been cheaper/easier). You couldn’t 3d print this kind of product.
  24. 24. This is what factory production can look like. This is the housing for Little Printer, still on the tool in Shenzhen. Hot, greasy. Not a clean room.
  25. 25. Little Printer, Berg (2010) And then it went on sale. But it’s not just a printer, it’s a platform.
  26. 26. You can send HTML to Little Printers. If you can build a 384px website you can make publications to print. And we provided simple tools to do so. To give people access.
  27. 27. But there are companies taking a less traditional approach. Like Makielab and their Makie dolls.
  28. 28. These are 3d printed to order building on an online community and game engine.
  29. 29. Newspaper club are providing access to commercial printers to print newspapers via their website. Not so obviously high tech, but a brilliant application of web to physical.
  30. 30. Technology Will Save Us are building on the maker community trying to empower people to build and get to grips with technology.
  31. 31. Arduboy by batesky on Of the many market place websites, there’s etsy, tindie, folksy. All manner. is a curious market place for selling electronics designs. Again this introduces lots of fascinating grey areas around publishing, certification, scale of production, one off productions vs multiples.
  32. 32. Also interesting in this space are sites like Makers Row and Just Got Made
  33. 33. These services are aiming to give people a way in making connections to the different people in the supply chain. And in some ways just bringing manufacturing industries up to speed with the demands of makers and designers who are used to the speed of the web for sourcing information.
  34. 34. Another way to get involved is sharing back in to the community. We built on some of the tools available to the maker community to build Little Printer. So we share back. Arduino PCBs to add connectivity to your prototypes, and products. Want to make the most of the Maker community? Start making & sharing.
  35. 35. Thanks! ! @andy_huntington ! !